Thursday, June 10, 2010


This post is coming one day ahead of schedule because tomorrow I leave for vacation! That’s right, all next week I’ll be lying on the beach, soaking up the rays, sipping frozen drinks with little umbrellas…or at least I would if I didn’t have four kids. Alas, the days of lounging by the pool are over for me. Instead, I’ll be breaking up fights and trying to convince my youngest son that he will not die if he gets his face wet. Think National Lampoon’s Family Vacation and you’ll get the idea. I’m going to try to post, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to.

First a programming note: As I am both an editor and a writer, I’m going to have posts from both perspectives. My plan is for the posts on Monday and Wednesday to deal with editing issues. Then on Friday, I’ll switch and talk about the writing process.

Now that that’s out of the way, today I want to talk about obsessions. Not the kind that get you thrown in jail for peeping through your neighbors windows, but the writing kind. In my poetry writing class last semester we had a great conversation about writing obsessions. You know, those subjects you keep returning to over and over again. Some of us had them (okay, it was pretty much just me) and some didn’t.

Even when I don’t set out to write about a certain theme, I find them cropping up in my stories anyway. Sometimes this is a good thing. I always have something to write about, and if writers are supposed to write what they know then having an obsession means you know your subject really well. But sometimes, I worry that my readers will become bored reading the same themes over and over again.

What about you? Do you find yourself circling back to the same subjects, and if so do you think it’s a good thing or something you want to break away from?

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